Category: News

2020 Yellowstone Conference: New Dimensions of Care

Maintaining safety and health of Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch youth, staff, and guests is our top priority. Due to the uncertain circumstances of these times, YBGR has decided to make the 2020 Yellowstone Conference: New Dimensions of Care, a FREE virtual conference experience.

 

The format of the conference will now be offered in free weekly one-hour Zoom panel discussions starting on September 17th from 12:00pm-1:00pm MST (see schedule below). Each panel will still consist of a moderator, professional panelists, and audience participation discussing the important youth and family issues.  CEUs and OPI credits will still be offered for each of the panel discussions (free of charge), 1 CEU or OPI credit per panel discussion.

  • Thursday September 17th from 12:00pm-1:00pm MST-Collaborating for Outcomes: Family 1st Act   
  • Thursday September 24th from 12:00pm-1:00pm MST- The Role of Adolescent Faith & Spirituality 
  • Thursday October 1st from 12:00pm-1:00pm MST- Looking Beyond Behavior 
  • Thursday October 8th from 12:00pm-1:00m MST-Youth Voice: Evolution of Care
Each panel discussion registration is setup as an individual Zoom session, so you will need to register for each of them separately. You can sign up for as many as you like and we encourage everyone to come to all four!

 

Collaborating for Outcomes: Family 1st Act

The Family First Prevention Services Act of 2018 has been touted as an opportunity to “change foster care as we know it”. The Act has several provisions to enhance support services for families to help children remain at home, reduce the unnecessary use of congregate care, and build the capacity of communities to support children and families.

To achieve the promise of Family First, Montana will need to adapt. State agencies will need to adjust and change systems. Private providers, particularly group home providers, will need to alter services and business models to better meet the needs of children and caregivers. Judges, attorneys and other legal partners will be relied upon to make informed decisions about what children and youth need to succeed. Members of the community need to be informed of best practices and engaged in active solutions. In short, successful implementation requires an all-hands-on-deck approach.

Moderated by Michael Chavers, YBGR CEO

Panelists to be announced

The Role of Adolescent Faith and Spirituality

Spirituality helps people cope with everyday stresses by giving them hope and meaning in life through the values they live out on a daily basis. Looking at the core issues of independence, intimacy and identity is critical in the role of healthy spiritual development. Through questioning what beliefs adolescents will personally own, will help us to understand what values emerge through the formation of healthy spirituality.

Moderated by John Dailey, YBGR Spiritual Director

Panelists to be announced

Looking Beyond Behavior

All behavior is a form of communication. Looking beyond behavior for meaning is an important tool not just for mental-health providers but for communities. Unmet needs continue to echo in problematic behaviors and once you can determine the meaning you can create positive change through support. These concepts are universal in relationships and can be deployed by anyone. In this panel, we will explore the importance of developing communities attuned to the meaning of behavior so that we can all be part of positive change.

Moderated by Tyson Schumacher, YBGR CIO

Panelists to be announced

Youth Voice: Evolution of Care

A panel of former youth who were recipients of mental health services in and out of the state of Montana. We will explore their firsthand experiences in mental health to gather valuable information on past and existing systems of care that affect the lives of children.

Moderated by Rishay Watson, YBGR Executive Director of Business Development and Marketing

Panelists to be announced

Empowered to Connect Free Online Conference

 

 

 

 

Montana’s Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch will be offering free access to Karyn Purvis’ world renowned, Empowered to Connect simulcast.

Empowered to Connect (ETC) is an attachment rich community focused program that exists to support, resource, and educate caregivers. ETC’s resources and trainings are especially helpful for caregivers of children who have experienced adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), toxic stress, and maltreatment. ETC relies heavily on the model of Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI®) created by Dr. Karyn Purvis and Dr. David Cross at the TCU Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development.

Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch staff will be on-hand to facilitate discussions throughout the presentations in order to dig deep into how these parenting techniques can be implemented in our daily lives.  

 

  Mondays Tuesdays  
Class 1 27-Apr-20 28-Apr-20  
Class 2 4-May-20 5-May-20  
Class 3 11-May-20 12-May-20  
Class 4 18-May-20 19-May-20  
       
*All viewings begin at 3pm and end by 7:30pm

Click HERE to register for this free event 

COVID-19 Important Announcements

Updated July 27, 2020

Dear YBGR Stakeholders,

YBGR is committed to be a transparent and cooperative partner and providing accurate and timely information regarding our services.  Thank you all for your concern, support and understanding during these unprecedented and difficult times. 

Earlier today, we were contacted by RiverStone Health informing us that another of our family has tested positive for COVID-19.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to this staff and we are hoping for a quick and full recovery.  This staff member last worked one week ago, July 20th, on Fortin East, when they left work early due to illness. 

As of today, there are no youth displaying symptoms of COVID-19 at YBGR. 

In working with the County Health Officer and RiverStone Health, due to the nature of this situation, they have determined that there is not a significant risk which would require additional testing of staff or youth at YBGR. 

As promised, we are communicating and coordinating with the County Health Officer and RiverStone Health on an on-going basis.  Previous guidance to employees including social distancing, frequent handwashing, sanitization and not coming to work when sick remains in effect.  Temperature checks are done daily on all youth and staff members.  Youth also continue to be isolated to lodge groupings, with meals delivered, and regular cleaning and sanitation of common areas and equipment. 

Thank you again for your partnership and trust.  Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns that you may have. 

Mike Chavers, CEO


Update July 21, 2020

Dear YBGR Stakeholders,

Thank you all for your on-going support and understanding.   YBGR continues to be diligent in ensuring the health and safety of our staff and those we serve.  We also remain committed to being transparent and cooperative partners, providing accurate and timely information during these challenging times. 

Earlier today, I was informed by RiverStone Health that a member of the YBGR family has tested positive for COVID-19.  RiverStone Health has begun contact tracing and follow up, and YBGR is coordinating our services and response with RiverStone Health.

Here is what we know right now:

  • This staff member last worked one week ago (July 14th) on Jessie Grant. 
  • The staff member did not begin to have symptoms until after leaving work. 

YBGR is coordinating and cooperating with RiverStone health to ensure the health and safety of both our youth and employees.  At this time, RiverStone has stated that youth served at YBGR do not require testing, due to the precautions and ongoing monitoring occurring at YBGR. 

As of today, no youth at YBGR is displaying any symptoms related to COVID-19.

As a reminder, we are continuing to practice precautionary and preventative measures, including social distancing and frequent handwashing.  Temperature checks are done daily on all youth and staff members.  Youth also continue to be isolated to lodge groupings, with meals delivered, and regular cleaning and sanitation of common areas and equipment occurs.  All staff are required to wear masks while interacting with youth. 

Thank you again for your partnership and trust.  Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns that you may have. 

Mike Chavers, CEO


Update July 14, 2020

Dear YBGR Stakeholders,

Thank you all for your concern, support and understanding during these unprecedented and difficult times.  YBGR is committed to be a transparent and cooperative partner and providing accurate and timely information regarding our services. 

Late Sunday, I was informed that a second YBGR staff member has received a confirmed positive test result for COVID-19.  It is important to note that the staff member has not been present at YBGR since June 28th.

In working with the County Health Officer and RiverStone Health, due to the nature of this situation, they have determined that there is not a significant risk which would require additional testing of staff or youth at YBGR.

The facts, as we understand them, are these:

  • a family member of the staff first tested positive on or around July 3rd.  As a reminder, the staff member had not worked since Sunday, June 28th, six days prior to the positive test of the family member and prior to the onset of symptoms. 
  • The staff member was subsequently tested. 
  • This past Sunday, July 12th, was when we were notified of a positive test result.   

As promised, we are communicating and coordinating with the County Health Officer and RiverStone Health on an on-going basis.  Previous guidance to employees including social distancing, frequent handwashing, not coming to work when sick remains in effect.  Temperature checks are done daily on all youth and staff members.  Youth also continue to be isolated to lodge groupings, with meals delivered, and regular cleaning and sanitation of common areas and equipment. 

Due to the rapid increase in the number of cases of COVID-19 in Montana, we are moving PRTF back to phone/video visits. On-campus visits will be paused.  While a difficult decision to make, we believe this action will ensure the health and safety of both our youth and staff.

On a positive note, the staff member that tested positive on July 9th has made a full recovery and is in the process of being medically cleared to safely return to work. 

Thank you again for your partnership and trust.  Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns that you may have. 

Mike Chavers, CEO


Update July 9, 2020

Dear YBGR Stakeholders,

Thank you all for your concern, support and understanding during these unprecedented and difficult times.  YBGR is committed to be a transparent and cooperative partner and providing accurate and timely information regarding our services. 

Earlier today, I was notified that a YBGR staff member tested positive for COVID-19.  First and foremost, our thoughts go to this staff member, and we are praying for a quick and complete recovery.  This staff member is a part-time, administrative staff.  Their contact with other employees has been limited, and they have had no contact with youth.  The staff member has not been on campus since noon on Wednesday, July 1, 2020, and did not report to have symptoms until after that date.

Thankfully, this situation seems to be low risk for transmission to other employees or youth on campus.  We will be using this situation as a learning opportunity and making adjustments in guidance to prevent further transmission or outbreaks.  Simply put, the health of those we serve is important, and we will respond according to our values of Integrity, Respect, Relationship, Safety and Stewardship.

Because we have had a confirmed positive case among our family, we have communicated with the County Health Officer, updated our guidelines and are taking specific actions.  We commit to following the most current information and guidance, and to communicate with you regularly. 

Due to the confirmed case of COVID-19 of a YBGR staff member, beginning on Friday, July 10, 2020, here are the updated guidance and requirements:

Face masks will be required for all staff and visitors when interacting with othersMasks are to be worn anytime others are present, regardless of how many people are in proximity. Those not wearing masks will be asked to wear a mask or leave campus.  Masks will be provided upon request.

All YBGR staff will receive refresher training on transmission precautions and handwashing. 

Previous guidance to employees including social distancing, frequent handwashing, not coming to work when sick remains in effect.  Temperature checks are done daily on all youth and staff members and visitors.  Youth also continue to be isolated to lodge groupings, with meals delivered, and regular cleaning and sanitation of common areas and equipment. 

Thank you again for your partnership and trust.  Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns that you may have. 

Mike Chavers, CEO

 


Update June 8, 2020

Dear family members and caregivers of youth served at YBGR,

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we have navigated the unprecedented impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.  As the state of Montana has begun to loosen restrictions and change guidelines as part of Phase 2, YBGR is also adjusting. 

Beginning June 15th, we will begin to allow parents and caregivers to visit youth on campus, under the following conditions:

  • Campus visitation must be scheduled and approved in advance, through the Treatment Coordinators
  • All visitation will occur on campus.  No off-campus or overnight passes will be approved. 
  • Orth Family Center remains closed.  Visitors will not be provided with on-campus housing.
  • Only two adult visitors will be allowed to visit a youth on campus at a time.  No visitors under the age of 18.   
  • All visitors must check in at the clinic for symptom screening, including temperature checks, and badge assignment, prior to the visit.  Visitors must present this badge before being allowed to visit a youth.
  • Visits will occur outside only, in assigned areas.   Visitors will not be allowed into any buildings, other than the clinic to check in and out.  Designated areas will provide cover from rain, such as the McFarlane Plaza gazebos. 
  • Visits will be limited to two hours in length and occur between the hours of 9am and 7pm.
  • Masks must be worn by both visitors and the youth throughout the visit.  Social distancing from other groups will be required. 
  • Visitors must check out at the clinic at the end of the visit. 
  • Refusal to follow the guidelines will result in the visit being ended and the visitor being asked to leave the premises. 

YBGR remains committed to maintaining the health and safety of your children.  In order to reduce the risk of transmission, we continue to screen all admissions for COVID-19 symptoms, and we will not be admitting youth with active symptoms.  Youth will remain in lodge groups for meals, recreation, school and therapy.  Meals continue to be delivered to the lodges, rather than going to the dining hall.  A quarantine unit is available, if it were to be necessary. 

Thank you again for your patience and understanding during these challenging and unprecedented times.  We appreciate your commitment to your child’s physical and mental health, and we are grateful for your partnership.  

Respectfully,
Mike Chavers, CEO

3-Day EMDR Intensive Training: Neuroscience, Diagnosis and State of the Art Practices to Treat Complex Trauma 1/8/2020-1/10/2020

 

 

 

 

 

Join trauma specialist, author and national trainer, Megan Howard, LCSW, CCTP, for this intensive 3-day EMDR training that will provide you the knowledge and skills needed to use EMDR safely and effectively. Through lecture, live and videotaped EMDR demonstrations, and supervised experiential exercises, this training will provide you with an in-depth knowledge of trauma theory, principles, diagnosis and EMDR treatment.

The stage model remains today’s state-of-the-art treatment approach for all but single-incident trauma. During this training, you will learn the goals of each stage, along with the therapeutic tools to reach those goals.

You must be present for all 3 days of EMDR training to receive the hours of training certificate. CEUs will be emailed by PESI after paperwork has been processed.

Cost is $700.00 per ticket 

Purchase Tickets

Schedule:

Wednesday January 8th, 2020

  • Registration 7:30am-8:00am
  • Training 8:00am-11:50am
  • Lunch 11:50am-1:00pm (Lunch on your own)
  • Training 1:00pm-4:00pm 

Thursday January 9th, 2020

  • Training 8:00am-11:50am
  • Lunch 11:50am-1:00pm (Lunch on your own)
  • Training 1:00pm-4:00pm 

Friday January 10th, 2020

  • Training 8:00am-11:50am
  • Lunch 11:50am-1:00pm (Lunch on your own)
  • Training 1:00pm-4:00pm 

Program Outline:

Neuroscience of Trauma, Effective Assessment and DSM-5® Diagnostic Criteria

Neuroscience’s Current Trauma Paradigm

Biological nature of trauma

  • Triune Brain, The Autonomic Nervous System and the Stress Response
  • The Polyvagal Theory
  • Traumatic Stress: normal, prolonged, complex and developmental

Specific trauma symptoms

Primary treatment issues in trauma therapy

Trauma’s Somatic and Sensorimotor Sequelae

  • Hyperarousal
  • Hypoarousal
  • Dissociation, body memories and “flashbacks” Affect dysregulation

Trauma and Attachment

The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACE Study)

Attachment Essentials

  • Baby/momma trauma
  • Insecure Attachment Styles Assessment and Primary Treatment Issues of:
  • Avoidant
  • Preoccupied
  • Disorganized type

Assessment and Diagnosis of Trauma Disorders

Current Trauma Diagnoses:

  • Acute Trauma Disorder
  • PTSD and subtypes
  • Dissociative
  • Preschool
  • Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

Proposed Trauma Diagnoses

  • Developmental Trauma Disorder (DTD)
  • Complex PTSD

Trauma Treatment: Effective Tools, Treatment Modalities, and an Introduction EMDR

The Stage Model of Treatment

  • Assessment, Rapport, Psychoeducation
  • Developing the “Skills to Stay Stable”
  • Trauma Tools for Affect Regulation
  • Recognizing and regulating affect
  • Dissociative episodes and “flashbacks”
  • Grounding clients in their bodies and back in the present in the here and now
  • Mindfulness/bodyfulness (including somatic exercises)
  • Multisensory Guided Imagery
  • EFT (meridian tapping)
  • Reduction of physiological arousal
  • Recognizing and up & down regulating arousal levels
  • Containment and self-soothing
  • Stage One: Stabilization and Safety

Stage Two: Working Through Traumatic Memories

  • Brief overview of the theory and applicability of three trauma processing modalities:
  • Sensorimotor Psychotherapy (SP)
  • Somatic Experiencing (SE)
  • EMDR

Practice EMDR for both Resourcing and Trauma Processing

Live EMDR demonstration followed by experiential sessions

Under Supervision, Learn and Safely Practice the Skills of EMDR for Both Phase One and Two

Phase One Work: Imaginal Resourcing

  • Containment Imagery
  • Comfortable Place Imagery
  • Protection Imagery and/or Nurture Imagery

Phase Two Work: Reprocessing Traumatic Memories

Limitations of Research and Potential Risk

  • Contraindications and precautions for reprocessing trauma
  • Differences in theory and in the associated neurophysiological models are a matter of ongoing discussion

Objectives:

1. Evaluate the biological nature of trauma and how trauma is stored in the body and limbic system, creating physical and psychological symptoms to better understand your clients.

2. Differentiate between sympathetic (activated) freeze response and the parasympathetic (deactivated) dorsal vagal immobilization response your clients experience.

3. Distinguish between the following types of traumatic stress: normal, prolonged, complex and developmental and articulate treatment considerations for each.

4. Ascertain the clinical implications of traumatic stress symptomology, including hyperarousal, affect dysregulation, dissociation, body memories, and flashbacks.

5. Employ effective somatic techniques to reduce/eliminate client’s body memories, “flashbacks” and dissociation.

6. Summarize the landmark study: Adverse Childhood Experiences Study and understand the ten adverse childhood experiences studied as they related to clinical diagnosis and assessment.

7. Evaluate the clinical presentation of the following attachment styles as it relates to your clinical assessment: secure vs insecure; insecure; organized vs insecure disorganized.

8. Designate two different treatment strategies, once attachment style has been ascertained, based on your clients’ attachment style.

9. Demonstrate strategies to help clients build skills to be prepared to process trauma via EMDR, including safety within the therapeutic alliance and skills for self-regulation.

10. Determine when/if your client is prepared to safely process trauma memories via EMDR.

11. Create and employ client-driven imagery for safety and containment during trauma processing.

12. Utilize clinical techniques to help with grounding and centering traumatized clients in-session.

13. Prepare clients with various trauma tools; mindfulness, guided imagery and meridian-based techniques to decrease client’s arousal levels and modulate affect.

14. Analyze and critique the original eight phases of EMDR’s standard protocol (Shapiro) as it relates to clinical treatment.

15. Determine Parnell’s four essential elements of each EMDR session and how it relates to client treatment.

16. Practice under supervision Parnell’s Modified EMDR protocol to prepare for work with your clients in-session.

17. Practice under supervision the skill for resourcing a client with imaginal resources prior to processing traumatic material.

18. Practice under supervision the trauma processing modality and EDMR tools for processing traumatic memories with your clients.

19. Utilize and practice two “cues for safety” with your clients based on Steve Porges’ Polyvagal Theory.

Continuing Education Credits – all 3 days

Addiction Counselors: This course has been approved by PESI, Inc., as a NAADAC Approved Education Provider, for 19.0 CE in the Counseling Services skill group. NAADAC Provider #77553. PESI, Inc. is responsible for all aspects of their programming. Full attendance is required; no partial credit will be awarded for partial attendance.

Counselors: This intermediate activity consists of 19.0 clock hours of continuing education instruction. Credit requirements and approvals vary per state board regulations. Please save the course outline, the certificate of completion you receive from the activity and contact your state board or organization to determine specific filing requirements.

Montana Counselors: The Montana Board of Behavioral Health no longer pre-approves any courses or sponsors. Each licensee is responsible for taking courses which contribute to their competence and directly relate to their scope of practice as defined in board statute (MAR 24-219-32). Licensees must keep CE documentation for three years in case of an audit. This intermediate level activity consists of 19.0 clock hours of instruction.

Marriage & Family Therapists: This activity consists of 1140 minutes of continuing education instruction. Credit requirements and approvals vary per state board regulations. You should save this course outline, the certificate of completion you receive from the activity and contact your state board or organization to determine specific filing requirements.

Montana Marriage & Family Therapists: The Montana Board of Behavioral Health no longer pre-approves any courses or sponsors. Each licensee is responsible for taking courses which contribute to their competence and directly relate to their scope of practice as defined in board statute

(MAR 24-219-32). Licensees must keep CE documentation for three years in case of an audit. This intermediate level activity consists of 19.0 clock hours of instruction.

EMDRIA: This training is not affiliated with EMDRIA and does not qualify towards EMDRIA credits or training.

Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, and Clinical Nurse Specialists: PESI, Inc. is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

  • Nurses in full attendance will earn 19.0 contact hours. Partial contact hours will be awarded for partial attendance.

Psychologists: This live activity consists of 19.0 clock hours of continuing education instruction. Credit requirements and approvals vary per state board regulations. Please save the course outline and the certificate of completion you receive from this live activity. Contact us for more information on your state board or organization specific filing requirements. American Psychological Association credits are not available.

Montana Psychologists: This live activity is designed to meet the criteria requirements of the Montana Board of Psychologists and is a PESI-approved continuing education and qualifies for 1140 instructional minutes. Please save the certificate of completion you receive from this live activity.

Social Workers: PESI, Inc., #1062, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. PESI, Inc. maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider approval period: January 27, 2017 – January 27, 2020. Social Workers completing this course receive 19.0 Clinical Practice continuing education credits. Course Level: Intermediate. Full attendance is required; no partial credits will be offered for partial attendance. A certificate of attendance will be awarded at the end of the program to social workers who complete the program evaluation.

Montana Social Workers: The Montana Board of Behavioral Health no longer pre-approves any courses or sponsors. Each licensee is responsible for taking courses which contribute to their competence and directly relate to their scope of practice as defined in board statute (MAR 24-219-32). Licensees must keep CE documentation for three years in case of an audit. This intermediate level activity consists of 19.0 clock hours of instruction.

Other Professions: This activity qualifies for 1140 minutes of instructional content as required by many national, state and local licensing boards and professional organizations. Save your course outline and certificate of completion, and contact your own board or organization for specific requirements.

Speaker Megan Howard, LCSW, CCTP was trained on the use of EMDR as a treatment protocol through EMDRIA and uses EMDR in her practice to achieve improved outcomes with a broad spectrum of clients in the areas of trauma, abuse, and substance abuse.

She is certified as a Clinical Trauma Professional through the International Association of Trauma Professionals and currently owns and operates one of the largest treatment centers for substance abuse and trauma in the state of Idaho.

She has been invited to train internationally at the International Society of Addiction Medicine in India and at the International Conference on Addiction Research and Therapy in Amsterdam.

Ms. Howard earned her Masters in Clinical Social Work from Northwest Nazarene University and is a member of EMDRIA and the International Society of Addiction Medicine..

Speaker Disclosures:

Financial: Megan Howard is the owner of Addiction and Trauma Recovery Services. She receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc.

Non-financial: Megan Howard has no relevant non-financial relationship to disclose.

YBGR Economic Impact Report

Recently, YBGR, through a generous grant from NorthWestern Energy, YBGR partnered with Circle Analytics to complete an Economic Impact Report. Through this partnership, we did a “deep-dive” into the benefits of YBGR: what we not only do for kids and families, but also how much of a difference we make economically to our stakeholders (you). 

Circle Analytics  prepared hundreds of these reports for state agencies, cities, counties, economic development districts, as well as private and nonprofit entities across the country.   Social impacts recognize the greater extended value of the program to society – dollars expended vs. dollars saved.

Circle Analytics found that for every dollar spent at YBGR, there is a return of $13.90 through long-term savings to society, jobs, capital investment and indirect business taxes.  

Full Report

Yellowstone Public Radio-Youth Advocates Team Up On Pilot Program

Youth Advocates Team Up On Pilot Program

  23 HOURS AGO
 

Young man works on homework
CREDIT PAUL FISHER / FLICKR

Three youth advocacy groups in Yellowstone County are pooling their resources.

Tumbleweed, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Yellowstone County, and the Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch are in the first few months of a pilot program.

They’re helping connect children with adults best suited to their needs. Ideally, the adult will help guide the child over an extended period of time, or however long is necessary.

Erika Willis is the executive director of Tumbleweed, a non-profit that helps homeless or otherwise at-risk youth. She said one goal is to provide kids with someone they feel comfortable turning to.

“Because they’ve developed that relationship, and they start to know my tummy feels weird or I had a weird day, and I know I can talk to someone about this and take the pressure off,” said Willis.

Willis said, in a situation like that, the child could come to an adult to get to the root problem early, instead of adults having to step in when they notice poor grades or missed classes.

“That’s another example of let’s get in front of this before it blows up,” she said.

One central goal is to help the three organizations combine resources and manpower. Brian Dennis is President of the Boys and Girls Club of Yellowstone County.

“This is the three of us putting everybody in the room together to try and figure out how we best utilize each other’s skillset,” said Dennis.

At this point, the three non-profits are working with the Boys and Girls Clubs students at the Lockwood Schools campus with funds from the Montana Healthcare Foundation.

SMART Training

Sensory Motor Arousal Regulation Treatment (SMART):

Starting at a young age, children learn to process their world through their senses.  They learn to regulate their emotions not only through their senses but their relationships and connections to those around them, most importantly their caregiver.  At YBGR we utilize a variety of evidenced-based treatment approaches for children that focus on changing their negative thought patterns, emotions and behaviors.  As an agency working towards more trauma-informed care practices, we recognize the need to meet the children and families where they are at.  Through the Sensory Motor Arousal Regulation Treatment (SMART), we now have the opportunity to truly meet children and their families where they are at in their treatment.  SMART was designed using a variety of treatment and therapy expertise including: trauma-focused psychotherapy, sensorimotor psychotherapy, sensory integration, play therapy, attachment and family therapy, developmental psychology and human development.  Clinicians using SMART work with the child (and hopefully the caregiver) to nurture healing and growth.  This model offers flexibility to be implemented as individual therapy, caregiver-child therapy or parent psychoeducation/coaching. 

This modality can be used to treat somatic problems, emotional dysregulation, posttraumatic stress disorder, behavioral disorders, mood and anxiety disorders that are based in a history of trauma.  Through a very generous donation, YBGR was able to have Elizabeth Warner, Psy.D. and Heather Finn, LICSW from SMARTmoves (www.smartmovespartners.com) come and train our staff over the course of three days.  YBGR was able to train not only the clinicians throughout our organization in the SMART model, but also have some non-clinical staff (school-based behavior specialists, care coordinators, program managers, and mental health workers) trained on how they can help support the therapists in their work with the clients and families.  In an effort to further collaborate with outside providers, five Billings Clinic Staff (4 therapists and 1 psychiatrist) joined the training as well. 

During the first two days of training, clinicians spent much of their time learning the philosophy and application behind the model as well as learning about the equipment.  Best of all, they got to test all of the equipment to see what it did and various ways to incorporate it into their work with children and families.  At YBGR we work with many clients who have experienced multiple traumatic events, often severe and pervasive in nature.  Through this unique model clinicians learned just how to  work with the children in a specially designed room to help facilitate emotional and behavioral regulation.  The room is exclusively designed for this purpose, children can playfully use big pillows, weighted blankets, balance beams, and other equipment that allows for full engagement of their brain and body.  There has been research to show the generational impact of trauma; meaning that parents who experience trauma will inevitability pass down the trauma to their children.  Countless studies exist and research regarding the Adverse Childhood Experiences and the generational impact.  For the caregivers who are involved in the treatment of their child, the strategies taught to their child often are useful for them personally as well.  Clinicians can also meet privately with the caregiver to offer some guidance to help coach their child. 

It’s YBGR’s effort to help not only the child but the whole family to help continue the growth within the family and ultimately within the community.